NISC Staff Balance Member/Customer Needs With Fight To Save Homes, Community Against Record Floods
A 10-year persistent drought dropped water levels in the Upper Missouri River Basin to modern lows. The drought abated in 2010 and this year the flood gates are opening – literally.
Record mountain snowfalls and heavy rains have filled the river to the rim and, like the well-reported Mississippi River flooding earlier this spring, flood conditions have covered farmland and are wreaking havoc to river-side population centers.
This past week, the flood arrived in Bismarck-Mandan, N.D., home to NISC's northern headquarters. More than 400 employees work out of the Mandan office and at this time, the homes of an estimated 45 of them are in harm’s way. NISC’s Mandan office is about 200 feet above the high water mark, so there is no threat of flooding or damage there.
Flooding in Bismarck-Mandan is expected to increase over the next week, as the U.S. Corp of Engineers doubles the amount of water released into the Missouri River from the Garrison Dam, 80-miles upstream. Unlike this spring’s Mississippi River flooding, the Missouri River is expected to be at flood stage for the next several months as record-level snowpack in the Rockies makes its way into the Missouri River watershed.
NISC employees whose homes are threatened by high water or who are involved in community efforts to build levies, bag sand and help families, friends and communities have been encouraged to take the time to do so. NISC wants to assure you though that operations are running as normal and our service to you will not be affected. In those limited cases where staff is out of the office, arrangements have been made for Lake Saint Louis, Mo. and Shawano, Wis. staff to provide assistance when and where it is needed.